The London-based exchange Cryptophyl is a trading platform focused on the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) and bitcoin cash (BCH) ecosystem. On October 29, the exchange announced the launch of the first fiat on-ramp to obtain well-known SLP tokens.
Cryptophyl.com has revealed the public can now purchase SLP tokens using fiat via credit cards, debit cards, and Apple Pay. The Cryptophyl team is collaborating with the payment processor Moonpay in order to facilitate the fiat on-ramp. The SLP token ecosystem has grown quite mature this year and thousands of tokens have been created using the BCH network. Data reveals there’s been 5,400 SLP tokens minted since the inception of the protocol and a slew of tokens have been listed on exchanges. Cryptophyl launched in August and initially offered spice (SPICE) trading with bitcoin cash but the trading platform now has honestcoin (USDH) and the Cryptophyl developed drop (DROP) token. Cryptophyl’s native exchange token drop leverages the ability to utilize onchain dividends by paying holders airdropped tokens directly to their wallets.
Now the Cryptophyl team has partnered with Moonpay to provide credit and debit card support to Cryptophyl’s exchange platform. Cryptophyl’s initial fiat payments launch will provide users access to spice and the stablecoin USDH. In the near future, credit and debit card payments can be used to obtain bitcoin cash and drop as well. “We are proud to partner with Cryptophyl to support instant purchases of SLP tokens,” said Ivan Soto-Wright, cofounder and CEO at Moonpay. “Reducing the barriers to entry is critical for mainstream adoption.” Moonpay users will have a connection to the SLP universe as well “expanding the reach of SLP to all users of Moonpay integrated products,” Cryptophyl’s announcement highlighted.
Making Bitcoin Cash Token Trading More Accessible
According to the Cryptophyl team, honestcoin (USDH) and spice (SPICE) are the most popular tokens on the trading platform. Moonpay and Cryptophyl’s fiat on-ramp will charge a fee of 3.99% per transaction. “It’s great to see the addition of credit card support to Cryptophyl,” Semyon Germanovich, Cryptophyl’s founder, detailed during the announcement. “We’re constantly working hard to make token trading more accessible. We’re excited to connect Moonpay’s existing userbase with some of the most popular SLP tokens out there.” Germanovich added:
This is a big moment for SLP tokens, and we’re thrilled to see SLP mature over time, and be a part of this journey. This is the beginning of many great things to come for Bitcoin Cash and the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Since Cryptophyl’s inception, the trading platform has been focused on the token technology tethered to the BCH network. The exchange aims to continue expanding the list of SLP pairs on the trading engine. “This mission is achieved through the discovery, due diligence and subsequent listing of quality tokens that demonstrate real-world utility,” Cryptophyl’s announcement notes. “Moving forward, both companies have committed to work together to add all new Cryptophyl listed tokens to Moonpay.”
What do you think about Cryptophyl revealing its fiat on-ramp to the SLP token ecosystem? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, USDH, SPICE, Pixabay, Moonpay, and Cryptophyl.com.
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Carbon exchange AirCarbon launched a global tokenized carbon credits trading platform for airlines and the aviation industry in Singapore.
Carbon exchange AirCarbon launched a global tokenized carbon credits trading platform in Singapore.
Business news outlet Business Times reported on Oct. 30 that the platform will allow firms such as airlines to buy and sell tokens representing carbon offset credits or Eligible Emission Units (EEUs), approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The first token representing an EEU has been created today by Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon upon the platform’s launch at the Asia Clean Energy Summit 2019. The front end of the platform has been designed by United Kingdom-based financial firm First Derivatives.
Exchange to fully launch in 2020
AirCarbon has not yet received the recognized market operator license that it applied for with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The firm aims to fully launch the exchange next year. The website of the firm describes its service in the following way:
“A Singapore regulated digital exchange focused on servicing transportation industry stakeholders’ carbon liability under ICAO’s CORSIA regime.”
The credits are represented by fungible security tokens on a blockchain and each is equivalent to one tonne of CORSIA-compliant carbon credits. The firm also aims to fund the registration, consulting, issuance and audit fees of some EEUs for free with its AirCarbon Registration Facility initiative.
A joint initiative
In exchange for the grants, the developers of the financed carbon offset projects must commit to list and transact their credits on the upcoming tokenized credits trading platform.
The exchange is reportedly the result of a collaboration with the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) that sees support by local statutory board Enterprise Singapore. SEAS chairman, as well as AirCarbon’s chairman and co-founder, Edwin Khew commented:
“We aim to make the AirCarbon token the easiest and most streamlined instrument for the trading of CORSIA EEUs globally.”
Khew also claimed that the platform will be the first global blockchain-based, multi-stakeholder carbon credits trading exchange that will represent carbon trades with a value of over $100 billion.
The assistant chief executive officer of the statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry Enterprise Singapore Satvinder Singh noted that he expects the demand for EEUs to grow, given the increasing focus on sustainability. He also said:
“Enterprise Singapore stands ready to support solutions providers like AirCarbon to grow in Singapore and address the needs of corporates to offset their carbon emissions, starting from the aviation industry.”
As Cointelegraph reported at the beginning of September, Germany’s Free Democratic Party wants to pay cryptocurrency to anyone who removes carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Trading platform Coinex recently announced the creation of a public decentralized exchange (dex) blockchain that leverages the consensus protocols Tendermint and the Cosmos SDK. This month, up until the mainnet launch, Coinex is in the midst of its pre-election process with new node participants preparing to partner with the Coinex Chain ecosystem. To further promote decentralized innovation, Bitcoin.com has joined the Coinex Chain network by planning to run a validator node on the blockchain.
Global Participants Join the Coinex Chain Ecosystem
Since the inception of Bitcoin and various alternative digital assets, centralized exchanges have lost customer funds every single year. Exchanges like Bitfinex, Mt. Gox, and Bithumb have lost millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies. The trading platform and blockchain business Coinex wants to tackle this problem with a dex chain that bypasses single points of failure and censorship while also providing a transparent process. Essentially, Coinex has created a distributed ledger system that allows for decentralized exchange functions, onchain privacy protection, and the ability to make programmable cash a reality.
In addition to the dex functionality, Coinex Chain aims to provide anyone with the means to issue a token and trade tokens onchain noncustodially. Users will participate in a governance system that allows for more transparency and user-base decision-making. Coinex Chain users will also be able to leverage the framework to issue pegged tokens and digitized assets.
The Coinex Chain Foundation held an event in Shenzhen, China on Oct 16 and started the Coinex Chain pre-election process. The conference was an important event for Coinex as global validator nodes joined the ecosystem. Blockchain startups participating include Rockx, Ifwallet, CETDAC, Seele Ecosystem, and Realmx. Being proponents of a strong cryptocurrency-powered future, Bitcoin.com has joined the validator node process as well. Right now there are 31 participants and approximately 1,073,220,442 votes in the pre-election. The pre-election event running until November aims to provide users with the node election scheme before the official election begins. Coinex users can vote in the pre-election and they will be able to win prizes worth 150,000,000 CET.
Aiming to Build a Transparent, Secure, and Permissionless Financial Platform
The firm wholeheartedly believes the Coinex Chain system of three public blockchains tethered to the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC) will cushion decentralized exchange functions, smart contracts and decision-based transaction tasks, and privacy methods that reinforce cryptocurrency confidentiality. “With functions such as asset-mapping, onchain trading and onchain matching, the dex public chain can address the problems of centralized exchanges, such as poor safety and intransparency that have been widely criticized,” explains the Coinex Chain whitepaper. “[The goal is to return] asset control to users, provide an order-book based on a fair onchain matching algorithm, permissionless onchain listing and creating trading pairs.” The white paper adds:
All of these efforts are aimed to build a transparent, secure, and permissionless financial platform for free trading. At the same time, features such as high TPS (transactions per second) performance and second-level transaction confirmation provided by the underlying Tendermint Consensus can maximumly restore the user experience like that in centralized exchanges.
With participants like Bitcoin.com joining the pre-election process, the testnet launch has been very successful. The Coinex Foundation plans to continue showcasing the project worldwide in regions like Hong Kong, Singapore, Wuzhen, and Beijing. The core Coinex Chain engineers such as the project’s lead developer, Jiazhi Jiang, have been introducing the platform during the company’s world tour. After the three-chain system initiates the mainnet launch, in the future, Coinex will build more application-specific public chains in order to help strengthen the blockchain ecosystem as a whole. Interested participants can read about the Coinex Chain pre-election process here for more details.
What do you think about the Coinex Chain project and the pre-election process? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Coinex, Coinex Chain, Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay.
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Zcash is wrapping their token on the Ethereum blockchain, and enthusiasts of both solutions will want to know the nuances to take advantage.
What kinds of wrapped tokens are there?
Because Ethereum is the biggest DeFi ecosystem, wrapped tokens are often those hosted on other blockchains but are also stablecoins that are pegged to the dollar.
Many of the first wrapped assets were, in fact, fiat-backed stablecoins, such as tokens with prices pegged to the dollar — Tether, Coinbase’s USDC or TrueUSD. There are also euro, yen, yuan and countless other fiat stablecoins that are mostly based on the Ethereum blockchain.
These are backed accordingly via the reserves, with coins fed in according to the demand of online crypto exchanges and larger institutional investors who want to quickly exchange fiat money into crypto and manage their money within a given platform.
This makes it as easy to deposit dollars into DeFi applications and blockchain wallets as it does to have a reliable counter currency providing traders relief from crypto asset volatility. Other cryptocurrencies are beginning to launch wrapped versions of their tokens on Ethereum in larger numbers, with interoperability a vital consideration for solutions that want to be taken seriously.
Why did Zcash launch a wrapped token?
The Wrapped Zcash token will provide Ethereum DApp users with the coin’s anonymity advantages, plus a reliable way to invest in Zcoin, thereby boosting its market.
Wrapped Zcash is a way for Zcash to be used within financial applications built on Ethereum — it opens a bridge from one ecosystem to the other. This two-way street benefits both Zcash and Ethereum users, as Zcash users are able to transact and invest within the many decentralized financial applications built on ETH.
This integration also brings an effect on the supply and demand for Zcash, which could prove a significant tailwind. For Ethereum users, the privacy benefits of Zcash enabled by its z-addresses and t-addresses provide new ways for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications to limit the publication of identifying information held in transaction data while still passing auditory and compliance standards.
What is Zcash?
Zcash is a cryptocurrency that can be transacted anonymously, with no address information visible on the public ledger record.
Zcash is a special and easily transactable cryptocurrency that derives value from the ability toallow private transactions within a public blockchain. Relying on a cutting-edge zk-SNARKS system that takes advantage of zero-knowledge proofs, transactions in Zcash can occur with algorithmically significant certainty of their validity without revealing their contents.
For privacy-focused individuals, that means payments can be made to Zcash wallets, which are verifiable and safe yet exempt from broadcasting the addresses or amounts involved. Transactions can be sent either with “t-addresses” (i.e., transparent) or “z-addresses” (i.e., semi-transparent) to adjust their level of metadata contained. All applications using Zcash treat each coin equally despite its transaction history, just like cash.
How do wrapped tokens work?
Wrapped tokens are each backed by an equal amount of the underlying asset or currency — as well as a variety of organizational roles, and algorithmic checks and balances.
DApps can process wrapped token transactions much faster because they aren’t done across multiple blockchains. Users can transact confidently because wrapped tokens’ trustless nature is preserved by a framework that backs each one-to-one with the underlying assets.
The complex model is enough to provide DApp users native access to other cryptocurrencies without burdening both blockchains in the processing of any DApp transaction. One minimal gas fee on Ethereum is all it takes.
Governance over wrapped tokens is typically done by assigning necessary roles to organizations, predominantly custodians who hold underlying assets and mint (or burn) new wrapped tokens as necessary. Merchants provide a medium to wrapped token buyers, while users own the tokens.
What is a wrapped token?
A wrapped token is an asset hosted on the Ethereum blockchain with a price that is the same as another underlying asset, even if it’s not on the same blockchain or on a blockchain at all.
A wrapped token is an ERC-20 token with a value identical to another asset that it represents, either through a smart contract or by being backed one-to-one with the underlying asset.
Wrapped Bitcoin, for instance, is a token worth the same as one BTC at any given moment, as a smart contract algorithm reproduces its price in real time and regulates the underlying fund with supply and demand information gleaned from user transactions. In exchange for their money, wrapped token users get an equivalent amount of value “wrapped up” in an asset that’s more easily mobilized by decentralized applications (DApps).
A bank in Belarus has effectively gotten the green light to process transfers related to digital assets. DFS, an affiliated company of Belveb Banking Holding’s member VEB Technologies, was recently registered as a resident of the High Technologies Park. The country’s special economic zone has already become home to many crypto businesses.
Crypto Investment Platform to Pay Dividends to Bank Accounts
DFS LLC is the operator of Finstore.by, a platform for token sales and trading. Belveb Bank will provide its clients with regular banking services, the Belarusian news outlet Dev.by reported. Corporate entities and private individuals will be able to purchase tokens from various coin offering projects that Finstore hosts.
The first such sale begins on Nov. 1, 2019 and will be conducted on behalf of Belwest, a shoe manufacturer and supplier founded by the German concern Salamander. Finstore will offer 63,000 of its digital tokens and sell them for euros, Russian and Belarussian rubles. The platform plans to issue its own token next month which will be used to facilitate future deals.
Investors buying the coins from this and other offerings will enjoy a fixed income from their investments, much like with bank deposits, at least before interest rates in Europe entered subzero territory. They will also be able to withdraw their dividends to a regular checking account or a bank card account.
Belarus legalized crypto-related activities with a presidential decree signed by Alexander Lukashenko in late 2017. Decree №8 “On the Development of the Digital Economy” came into force on March 28, 2018 to regulate crypto exchange services, initial coin offerings, mining operations, and smart contracts. A five-year tax holiday and other incentives were introduced for HTP-registered crypto entities.
The decree provides legal definitions to key terms used in the crypto space. For example, ‘cryptocurrency’ has been described as “bitcoin, other digital sign (token) used in international circulation as a universal means of exchange.” To improve the decree’s implementation, Minsk adopted new accounting standards for the industry and later expanded the applicable regulatory framework.
HTP Registers 129 New Businesses Including Crypto Companies
Finstore is designed for buying and selling digital tokens representing securities – not exactly cryptocurrencies. But it is not the only digital asset trading platform operating out of Belarus. At least two other full-fledged crypto exchanges provide services to traders and investors under the preferential terms of their registration with the Belarus High-Tech Park.
Currency.com, for instance, facilitates the purchases and sales of decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) with a choice of fiat currencies, including the euro, the U.S. dollar, the Russian and the Belarusian ruble. Another Belarus-regulated platform supporting trading pairs with BCH is Iexchange.
The number of crypto and blockchain businesses applying for HTP residency is constantly growing. According to the park’s website, 684 entities are currently registered in the special economic zone. Earlier this month, its supervisory board accepted another 129 new members, including crypto companies like Belveb’s affiliate DFS.
Do you think we are going to see more traditional banks involved in the crypto industry? Tell us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex is discontinuing operations in 31 countries, including Venezuela and Zimbabwe. The trading platform has justified its decision on the basis of the regulatory uncertainty in these jurisdictions. Some of the nations in the list are going through political turmoil and socio-economic challenges.
Bittrex International, the global trading platform managed by the Seattle-based digital asset exchange, has informed clients residing in the affected countries that they will no longer be able to use its services. The main reason for the decision lies in the unstable regulatory environment there, the company explained in an announcement published on its website this Friday.
“All trading and account access for these impacted customers will be halted on Tuesday, October 29 date at 19:00 UTC/21:00 CEST,” Bittrex detailed. Users have been asked to withdraw their coins and tokens from the platform before the deadline. To do so, they’ll have to log into their Bittrex International account, click “Holdings,” search for the wallet, and click the withdrawal button.
The exchange warns traders they won’t be able to withdraw their balance if it’s below a certain threshold. “The minimum withdrawal for all coins must be greater than 3 times the fee,” the company notes and provides an example: “Your balance in BTC must be .00150001 or greater as the fee is .0005.” Users can find additional withdrawal instructions in the FAQ section of the platform’s website.
Bittrex’s decision to halt exchange operations mostly concerns customers in developing countries. Many of these markets are in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, including crisis-hit Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Pakistan. Bosnia-Herzegovina is the only European jurisdiction on the list. Crypto traders in economically battered Venezuela are also among those that will not be able to use its exchange services in the future.
Crypto Exchanges Under Pressure from Governments
The move affecting its international trading platform comes after Bittrex delisted dozens of coins and tokens this summer that were available previously to U.S.-based traders. Although the exchange explains that a major criterion it considers in such cases is the lack of interest in a project, regulatory pressure in the United States may have also played a role.
Evolving regulatory standards and other compliance issues have been listed among the key factors in its official token removal policy, which the company takes into account when determining whether to delist a coin or remove a market. For example, in April this year the New York State Department of Financial Services ordered Bittrex to cease operations after rejecting its application for a Bitlicense.
International sanctions have also influenced the business decisions of companies in the crypto space. Towards the end of last year, reports came out that users of leading digital asset exchange Binance had been cut off in certain countries. Iran, Belarus, Serbia, Bosnia, Myanmar, and other restricted jurisdictions were affected. Some of those are on the sanctions lists of the UN Security Council and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
What’s your opinion about Bittrex’s decision to withdraw from 31 countries? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Mexico announces a new alliance to support blockchain development in Cointelegraph’s weekly digest of news from the Spanish-speaking world.
The Spanish-speaking world has seen another week of major cryptocurrency and blockchain developments with the Mexican government announcing a new alliance to support the development of blockchain initiatives.
Mexican government announces an alliance to support local blockchain development
On Oct. 14, the Federal Ministry of Economy of Mexico and the Internet Association MX announced a set of measures to improve the development of government-led projects in blockchain technology.
As part of the initiative, the ministry announced the establishment of a new blockchain alliance in order to help public officials to better understand how distributed ledger technology works and to provide advanced courses to support technology projects in the country. The alliance was established with the Internet Association MX, Canadian educational institution Blocks EDU, the Blockchain Institute of Technology and online educational portal Polimatía.
Cryptobuyer launches cryptocurrency card for Venezuelan users
Panama-based crypto company Cryptobuyer announced the launch of its own NFC physical card allowing purchases and transactions in cryptocurrency for Venezuelan users. As reported, Cryptobuyer’s new physical card can be recharged with six cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), Binance Coin (BNB), stablecoin Tether (UDST) and Cryptobuyer’s native token XPT.
IBM and Ford support a social projects-focused token by Gómez-Acebo & Pombo
On Oct. 15, international law firm Gómez-Acebo & Pombo announced the launch of its own token that will be used to fund pro bono initiatives such as supporting victims of gender violence and trafficking. Issued by local startup Blockchain Work Labs, Gómez-Acebo & Pombo and the Fernando Pombo Foundation, the Pombo token aims to encourage participation by institutions, companies and foundations in social projects coordinated by the Pombo Foundation, and provide transparency and traceability in donated funds.
A number of firms and institutions have reportedly joined the project, including global tech giant IBM, multinational automaker Ford, CEMEX, EBN Bank, Ibercaja Banking Foundation, Botín Foundation, Mutua Madrileña Foundation, Romeu Group, MACSA ID and Mutualidad de la Advocacia.
Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya to apply blockchain in ticketing
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a motorsport race track in Montmeló, Spain, is considering applying blockchain for improving its ticketing system. As reported by Cointelegraph en Español on Oct. 15, blockchain technology will purportedly allow the management of the sport arena to create their own secondary market for ticket sales and provide their customers with the opportunity to transfer their tickets.
Visualeo uses blockchain to remotely track property
Visualeo, a Madrid-based cloud computing platform that allows users to remotely confirm the status of a product or property, is using blockchain technology for its operations. As reported by Cointelegraph en Español on Oct. 15, the firm is implementing the Ethereum blockchain’s Ropsten testnet network to ensure that recorded digital data remains immutable and secure.
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s reputation system: Why do banks want to reward employees with tokens?
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) created a token system to encourage the active contribution of member organizations and their employees to the consortium, as reported by Cointelegraph on Oct. 8. The tokens are powered by the EEA’s Off-chain Trusted Compute Specification and is said to be trustworthy enough for use both within and between different companies.
The system was first demonstrated at the Devcon5 conference at the start of October in Osaka as part of an experiment conducted inside the EEA. Specifically, member organizations are testing the viability of a project to check whether it can be used by any company outside the consortium for incentivizing its staff and optimizing its business processes.
Particular interest in the initiative was shown by financial companies — Banco Santander and Chainlink — that presented their use cases in one of the Devcon5 workshops. Given this, how can a reward token-based system be interesting from a financial point of view and why are banks willing to invest in the development and implementation of such solutions?
What do we know about the token?
To motivate employees and member companies, EEA proposed using three types of tokens at once — reward, reputation and penalty — which are said to be awarded from a grant fund each time an employee performs or does not perform a particular action. Simply put, while those who regularly contribute to the code are rewarded, the specialists who fail to complete work on time get a penalty token. The same principle is applied to the companies that are credited reward points for both group work and contributions made by its individual employees.
Paul DiMarzio, EEA’s director of community, explained to Cointelegraph that the proposed reward system differs from traditional loyalty programs and has no alternatives as of yet. He said:
“Reward tokens in the context of collaborative organizations differ from the typical and well-known reward systems used by airlines, retailers, etc. These systems incentivize loyalty. The use of tokens to incentivize collaboration is relatively new and very valuable in all sorts of member-driven organizations.”
The token itself represents a digital unit with a specific value. As stated in the EEA’s technical documentation, accumulated tokens are displayed as a balance in the employee’s profile and can be subsequently exchanged for items from the EEA swag store or a bounty defined in the grant.
In an entertaining and interactive manner, Marley Gray, the principal architect for Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Engineering, demonstrated several possible ways how tokens can be redeemed. For example, 10 EEA tokens can be exchanged for an EEA t-shirt, while 100 tokens can be used to have dinner with Ron Resnick, EEA executive director. Gray added:
“We are creating the first simple use case that is actually usable so enterprises can actually start using tokens in their day-to-day operations because this model is easily transferable into one enterprise or between multiple enterprises.”
According to the EEA developers, the system will analyze not only the productivity indicators of individual employees but also tokenize the outcomes of the member organizations’ activity. As a result, each employee of the company will be motivated to regularly and efficiently work within the consortium. A contracted commitment to contribute to an organization’s activity will reflect the relative impact and the potential reward in the grant. At the same time, reward tokens can be transferred to other project participants, while penalty and reputation ones will stay nontransferable.
To sum up, a reward token-based system will work according to the principle that the more active the employee is, the more tokens they receive. But what if they are not active at all? In this case, the developers offer a so-called penalty system, with tokens being taken away from a member organization each time it commits to performing a particular task and doesn’t deliver. Notably, penalty tokens should be subtracted before an employee can redeem a reward token.
Why do banks need tokens?
World banks and financial institutions such as Banco Santander, JPMorgan Chase, ING, the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), Qiwi, Chainlink and many others actively participate in the EEA consortium.
Their active participation in the EEA’s initiatives demonstrates a high level of interest in blockchain solutions that can enhance business processes. DiMarzio emphasized that with the new reward token system, companies would get an understanding of how to do this. He said:
“KPMG recent study says that organizations of all sizes, and across sectors, need to embrace blockchain-based tokenization — or risk being left out: noting that 82% of consumers willing to use reward tokens on the blockchain. Yet, enterprises and developers don’t know how to do it.”
At Devcon5, EEA member Banco Santander shared its latest case study of the blockchain system. The bank’s developer, Przemek Siemion, emphasized the importance of tokenized enterprise solutions and briefly demonstrated how blockchain could be used to protect bank clients’ data. As such, according to him, the company, together with other EEA members, is exploring the possibilities of the open ecosystem space around incentive models to see whether they can be leveraged in the enterprise.
John Whelan, chairman of the board of the EEA and head of Digital Investment Banking at Banco Santander, told Cointelegraph that tokenization will drive financial innovation:
“The concept of digital tokens has been given to us by the blockchain world and it appears that in the coming years many different asset classes will be tokenized. As such, the Token Taxonomy Initiative will be key to ensuring that this next wave of financial innovation will start with cross-platform standards in mind.”
Banks have a great interest in the study and development of blockchain-based enterprise solutions. There is also an economic justification for that. According to a report by consulting firm Accenture, the eight largest investment banks can save up to $12 billion a year by 2025 if blockchain-based products become widespread.
One of the EEA’s member organizations, JPMorgan, annually invests $11 billion on IT, with the major part of this budget being spent on routine operations automation. In June 2016, the company launched the Contract Intelligence (COIN) program that cuts the time spent on verifying documents from 360,000 hours a year to several seconds. Larry Feinsmith, managing director and head of global tech strategy at JPMorgan, said:
“While other tech companies have a narrower scope of things they do very well, what differentiates JPMorgan Chase is our ability to invest $11 billion dollars in a broad number of technologies simultaneously. Our size and scale are simply unparalleled.”
Increasing employees’ productivity
The EEA is not the first organization to offer a token to motivate staff members. In June 2018, the payment system Qiwi Blockchain Technologies (QBT) announced the launch of a reward program called QBT token.
It has been reported that one of them is designed to reward employees for the implementation of the project deliverables and can be exchanged for corporate bonuses. The other one — a voting token — grants authorized employees the right to decide how many tokens to charge for the contribution to the development of the company, and to whom. According to Qiwi representatives, about 50% of the net profit, to which tokens should be tied, was allocated for the implementation of the QBT program. The employees were supposed to receive the first coins in 2018.
Another financial giant, PayPal, launched, an internal blockchain platform for incentivizing its employees in mid-November, where they can exchange corporate tokens for various services and goods. Once obtaining a certain number of tokens, an employee can, for example, play poker with the vice president of the company or have a cup of coffee with the CEO. Although PayPal tokens have no value outside the company’s office, they can be traded among employees.
In one of the leading Spanish banks, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), tokens are awarded to employees for developing their skills and training other specialists. According to the company, 4,000 employees have already taken part in testing the project and 20,833 new tokens have been created so far.
Explaining how the solution works, Ricardo Forcano, BBVA’s global head of talent and culture, said it “assigns value to training through tokens that certify each hour of training taken or given to other colleagues, and opens the doors to all employees — independent of their role — so that they can take courses that until now have only been available by invitation.”
The accumulated tokens can be further redeemed for participation in professional training courses and workshops. The most successful of the employees can gain access to private events and even meetings with top bank managers.
A tool to study blockchain
The daily use of corporate tokens helps the Bank of New York Mellon’s IT employees better understand the structure and operation of blockchain technology. Suresh Kumar, BNY Mellon’s chief information officer, emphasized that while the bank is not interested in cryptocurrency, it sees the potential in exploring the possibilities of the blockchain. He noted:
“It’s a way for own employees to understand what it is so they can think about the implications for their own work and for our clients.”
It’s one of the first initiatives developed by banks to help employees learn about the technology in an easy and interesting way. “It’s not like going to a classroom training or a seminar, but something that people can try themselves and play with it,” Kumar added. Along with educational purposes, staff members can also redeem BK Coins – the bank’s digital currency – for gift cards and vouchers.
Testing a solution before offering it to customers
The Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is actively experimenting with digital technologies to explore the possibility of using blockchain for financial purposes such as everyday financial transactions and payments. Most recently, the bank released a stablecoin for facilitating work with retail customers. However, before offering the coin, MUFG is testing it among its employees, who shop in a small store in the headquarters of MUFG.
In addition to stablecoin, whose scope of application can be expanded in the future, MUFG is testing a token for corporate use. The essence of the new digital asset is to serve as a unit in the system of rewards and bonuses for employees who work less overtime and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Global companies’ experience shows…
Examples of large banks around the world show that reward token systems are not only tested but also successfully applied by financial corporations. At the same time, the large-scale initiative of the EEA consortium may become an additional catalyst and a ready-made tokenized enterprise solution, which will allow companies to find wider applications to improve their economic performance. EEA’s executive director, Resnick, told Cointelegraph on the matter:
“Standardizing tokens to work anywhere could hold the key to one of the greatest economic opportunities in modern history. Just like standards that led to the rise of e-commerce on the internet, applying standards to tokenization will enable the enterprise to use tokens to serve as, or provide access to, a set of goods, financial assets, securities, services, value or content through enterprise blockchain applications.”
Developer of the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa will launch its new blockchain token-based referral and loyalty platform in 2019.
Dubai-based real estate giant Emaar Properties has released its new blockchain token-based referral and loyalty platform.
Real monetary value
Emaar, which developed the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, as well as the Dubai Mall, is planning to launch the EMR token for rewarding its customers, local publication Arabian Business reports Oct. 17.
Based on JPMorgan’s blockchain platform Quorum, EMR tokens will be redeemable not only within Emaar’s real estate network, including hotels, ecommerce operations and malls, but also can be traded with other users, the report says.
According to Arabian Business, both the blockchain platform and EMR token are expected to be released in late 2019.
First project of its kind globally
Emaar reportedly stressed that its EMR platform is the first project of its kind being launched globally, noting that its token provides real monetary value through external trading platforms. The platform for earning and redeeming the tokens is available via dedicated EMR mobile application on Android and iOS, the report notes.
Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar reportedly confirmed that EMR will be considered a utility token by the company. He claimed:
“We didn’t become Emaar by standing still, or by thinking small. By launching the EMR utility token ecosystem, Emaar is expanding the concept of connection. We aren’t just looking into the future — we are building it.”
Existing crypto-related controversy over Emaar
As reported in March, Emaar was developing the token in partnership with Swiss blockchain startup Lykke. At the time, the firm said that it was also considering conducting an initial coin offering (ICO) in Europe within a year of the internal operational launch of the platform.
Previously, Emaar denied rumors that it enabled crypto payments for property, noting that it was only accepting fiat currencies including UAE dirhams or United States dollars. Per reports, Emaar was allegedly allowing customers to purchase property with major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
The United Nations Development Programme has partnered with Dutch NGO the FairChain Foundation to use blockchain for the more equitable funding of cocoa farmers.
The United Nations Development Programme has partnered with Dutch NGO the FairChain Foundation to use blockchain for the more equitable funding of cocoa farmers.
According to an Oct. 17 report from SpringWise, the partners will launch a new chocolate bar, made with Ecuadorian-grown cocoa, together with a token-based scheme that allows consumers to contribute directly to cocoa producers.
Blockchain can “turn every product into a capitalist impact engine”
As the report outlines, each bar — being marketed as “The Other Bar” — contains a QR code within its wrapper that consumers can use to donate a blockchain token directly to farmers.
When scanned, QR code also reveals how much the farmer was paid for the cocoa used to produce their bar, as well as indicating the GPS coordinates of the cacao tree from which the cocoa for their bar was harvested.
According to SpringWire, while chocolate production represents a $92 billion global industry, farmers currently only receive 3% of the value of the cocoa used for marketed products. Many of them do not earn a living wage.
FairChain’s project aspires to ensure that farmers are better paid for their cocoa, with a target of achieving a price of €3,080 per metric ton for their cocoa. FairTrade reportedly pays farmers €3,080 per metric ton, while commercial buyers pay roughly €1,721.
FairChain Foundation founder Guido van Staveren has said that:
“The whole idea is to use technology to influence consumer behavior and basically turn every product into a capitalist impact engine.”
Each of the tokens in The Other Bar project is reportedly worth around one-quarter of the value of a cocoa tree. The funding raised will be used to plant new trees, with consumers able to track the impact of their donations using data recorded on the blockchain.
As reported, the UN has long been exploring multiple — largely humanitarian — use cases for blockchain technology, beginning with its use of the Ethereum blockchain to transfer coupons based on cryptocurrencies to refugees in Syria, followed by a blockchain-based digital identity system designed to combat child trafficking globally.
This July, the UN unveiled its research into blockchain solutions to foster sustainable urban development in Afghanistan.
The chief of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Global Cybercrime Program has nonetheless recently warned that decentralized cryptocurrencies have made combating money laundering, cybercrime and terrorism financing significantly harder.